Check out this 1948 book titled, ‘A Handy Illustrated Guide to Football’, currently up for bid($24) on eBay:

A Handy Illustrated Guide to Football

It caught my eye because it includes a passage and diagram from legendary Michigan coach and athletic director Fritz Crisler, describing the famed single wing fullback spinner.   It was formations and plays like this that earned Crisler’s backfield the nickname ‘The Mad Magicians’.

Thanks to eBay seller ‘Tink’ who sent over a clip of the Crisler submission:


And the busy diagram:


In its prime, Crisler’s bewildering offense was a sight to see.  The pinnacle was perhaps the 1948 Rose Bowl where the Magicians crushed USC 49-0.  TIME Magazine described the devastation:

Southern Cal’s beefy bruisers, the West Coast champs, were not clubbed to death. They were just hoodwinked and whipsawed by Michigan’s slickers. Jack Weisenburger, Crisler’s sturdy spinning fullback, started most of Michigan’s backfield ballet and ball-handling hocuspocus, and chewed through the center of Southern Cal’s bewildered line for three Michigan touchdowns.

Better yet, check out footage from the game:

The seller is asking $24.00 for ‘A Handy Illustrated Guide to Football’.

Speaking of Crisler, there have been some very cool photos of the old coach available including several from the before, during and after the ‘48 Rose Bowl.  Here’s a pretty cool shot from the lockerroom after the game with Fritz and Pete Elliott having a laugh:


The seller’s asking $15 for the shot.

1948 Rose Bowl and the title debate
Affectionately, Fritz Crisler
From now on, You’ll be Fritz


  1. Greg, a few years ago (maybe 2001) the athletic department sent out a Christmas card with a picture of Crisler shoveling the field at Michigan Stadium. I haven’t seen the picture anywhere else. Have you seen anything like that?

  2. Pingback: eBay Watch: Bashful Dick Kempthorn (1947) | | Michigan Football Blog

  3. No TV in ’48… radio was the thing. Fritz had a special 15-hour show every night on WJR from Cal., after the regular 11:15 sports program. As a high school frosh I had to take in this show. How things have changed. If you ain’t got TV, you don’t miss it, right???